US and UK youth lead innovative community solutions for combating species decline

May 22, 2024 - We're proud to announce the youth-led teams advancing to the finals of the OurEcho Challenge. This annual STEM competition empowers young changemakers, ages 13-16, in the US and UK to take a closer look at biodiversity in their communities. Students first identify threats to local ecosystems and then propose solutions to help preserve, protect or repair those natural resources. Annual winners receive funding and support to implement and track the success of their innovative solutions!

Now, after six long months of waiting, we have narrowed the candidates down to the top 10 US teams and the top 10 UK teams. Follow along with us on social as we highlight each of these incredible projects over the next few weeks. Be sure to pay attention, because the team that receives the most votes from the public will be granted the 2024 People’s Choice Award, voting will open in June.

Congratulations to this year’s finalists!

U.S. Teams

  • Biowaste to Biodiversity: The Biochar Brigade, Hawaii Tech Academy, Wahiawa, HI
  • BitterAIDers, John P. Stevens High School, Edison, NJ
  • Evaluating Microplastic Pollution, Seminole High School, Lake Mary, FL
  • Jazzing Up Jordan Lake, Green Level Environmental Club, Cary, NC
  • Marine Guard, Florida Atlantic University High School, Coral Springs, FL
  • Monarchs Matter, Great Neck, NY
  • Oil Skimmer, Rowlett Middle Academy, Bradenton, FL
  • ROOTing for Biodiversity, Poolesville Magnet High School, Poolesville, MD
  • Safe Prop, Rowlett Middle Academy, Bradenton, FL
  • Tree Teachers, Tree-Plenish, Lexington, MA

U.K. Teams

  • Butterfly Buddies, Haybridge High School and Sixth Form, Hagley, England
  • Eastlea Eco Projects Group, Eastlea Community School, London, England
  • Henry Richard Team, Ysgol Henry Richard School, Tregaron, Wales
  • Team Jalloh, London, England
  • Sheffield Rivers, Sheffield High School, Sheffield, England
  • Team Biogarden, Heathcote Sports and Science College, Chingford, England
  • Team EPA Eco Warriors, East Point Academy, Lowestoft, England
  • Team Sparrows, Eastlea Community School, London, England
  • The Greens Scarborough, Scarborough College, Scarborough, England
  • Verdant Vale Guardians, The King's (The Cathedral) School, Peterborough, England

“We are constantly impressed and inspired by the creativity, passion, and responsiveness of today’s youth leaders. This year’s projects range from evaluating and eradicating microplastics from waterways to improving hedgehog habitats,” said EarthEcho International founder Philippe Cousteau, Jr. “The 2024 OurEcho Challenge finalist teams’ projects are perfect examples of how locally-informed and community-led solutions can create lasting change around the globe.”  

Don’t miss your chance to see the winning teams unveiled live on EarthEcho’s YouTube Channel, July 2, 2024 at 1:00 PM US ET (6:00 PM BST). The top teams will be awarded grants ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 in the U.S. and £1,000 to £5,000 in the U.K. to turn their projects into reality.

Learn more about the USA teams and the UK teams and their projects on our website. For more information and updates about the OurEcho Challenge, visit or follow us on: